The relative anatomy of the coronary arterial and venous systems: Implications for coronary interventions

Julianne H. Spencer, Cassandra C. Sundaram, Paul A. Iaizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


An anatomical understanding of human coronary arterial and venous systems is necessary for device development and therapy applications that utilize these vessels. We investigated the unique use of contrast-CT scans from perfusion-fixed human hearts for three-dimensional visualization and analysis of anatomical features of the coronary systems. The coronary arterial and venous systems of eleven perfusion-fixed human hearts were modeled using contrast-CT and Mimics software. The coronary arteries that coursed near the major coronary veins, how close coronary arteries were to coronary veins, and the size of adjacent coronary arteries were recorded and analyzed. The majority of coronary veins were within 5 mm of a coronary artery somewhere along its length. Interventricular veins elicited the largest occurrence of overlaps. There was significant variability in the percentage of each vein that coursed within 0.5, 1, 2, and 5 mm of a nearby artery. The left marginal veins and anterior interventricular vein had the largest portion of the vein that coursed near a coronary artery. The right coronary artery most often coursed near the middle cardiac vein. The inferior veins of the left ventricle elicited the most variation in adjacent arteries. The left circumflex artery and/or branches of the circumflex artery coursed near the left marginal vein in all cases where there was an artery near the marginal vein. The wide variation of measurements reinforces the importance of a precise understanding of individualized cardiac anatomy in order to provide the highest quality care to cardiac patients. Clin. Anat. 27:1023–1029, 2014.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1029
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • anatomy
  • cardiac device design
  • cardiac pacing
  • coronary arterial system
  • coronary venous system


Dive into the research topics of 'The relative anatomy of the coronary arterial and venous systems: Implications for coronary interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this